Thursday, April 21, 2016

Star Wars 10k: The Dark Side

It's is no surprise I love runDisney races while they can be expensive, the race experience is one of a kind. Now, the Star Wars race series is fairly new with the Light Side option being held in the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim and the all new Dark Side option at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. If you do both races (half-marathon and challenge distances you receive the special Kessel Challenge Coast to Coast medal!) and with Star Wars being the hot commodity these races sell out fast but I was pleasantly surprised with the Dark Side!

It all started late Friday afternoon when we boarded the plane to Orlando (thanks Southwest!), one of the first times I've flown in a while that there wasn't a delay and we even arrived safely in Florida earlier than expected. It was after 8pm when we arrived so after we checked into the lovely Disney's Boardwalk Inn, I love this hotel! A major plus for me is that you not only have the fun Boardwalk area with food, shopping and entertainment but you also have the easy option of walking to Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios.

This resort is also in the same vicinity of the Yacht and Beach Club resorts so we walked over to the Beaches and Cream Soda Shop, they have simple food choices you would find at the beach, we got cheeseburgers and they were delicious! They are also known for having a dessert called "The Kitchen Sink" yes, it's a giant ice cream sundae in an actual kitchen sink. This is a thing. You can look it up. We didn't want the spectacle of ordering the giant sundae so we decided on individual desserts. I did get the mini Kitchen Sink!

After walking around the Boardwalk for a bit, I realized I had to be up in like three hours so we went back to the hotel and I took a short nap before long my alarm went off and my favorite race past time of getting ready in the dark while other people slept happened. The races start EARLY like 5:30am early, the bus to the start was pulling in as I made my way down to the pick-up area at the resort around 4am. There was some traffic and a normal 8 min bus ride was about 15-20 so not too bad. I arrived and picked up my bib (eeek! I actually forgot my license as a form of ID so I had to answer a ton of questions but I passed my life and got my bib!) and looked for my running bestie from LA.

The waiting area was very nice! As I looked for my friend (who was getting a picture with BB-8) I noticed Disney had tons of photo opps before the race, there were at least 7 options! This is great for those who don't like stopping during the actual race or someone who may be in one of the last corrals and fear waiting 20 minutes for a photo then ends up getting "swept" off the course for not keeping pace. Here are a few you could choose from including Jaba the Hutt, Darth Maul and Darth Vader!

I found my friend and we were off to the corrals! The weather was pretty humid but I mean it is central Florida in April so that was to be expected. While waiting in line the race announcers kept the crowd energized and even showed clips from all the Star Wars films (yes, even Episode 1). Soon enough we were off! The course starts in Epcot where you run though parts of the park then you make your way to the Boardwalk District followed by Hollywood Studios and finally finishing the course at Disney's Wide World of Sports.

 I actually really enjoyed this course, it was scenic plus there were a good amount of photo opportunities. The only section I didn't care for was the trail portion as you make your way into the Wide World of Sports. There were a few bottlenecks but remember this is a Disney race, there are LOTS of people, relax, have fun, and don't worry about time. You are in Disney!

Soon we were finished and my only big complaint of the entire race weekend...the busses. Wow. The line to take everyone back to the Boardwalk area hotels was completely backed up. I also didn't really care for the fact that you ended up in a different location than the start. It's just a bit of a headache to get back. However, Disney seemed to learn from the bus ordeal since the next day at the half there were plenty of busses back for the more congested hotels. So they did notice the problem and were quick to alleviate some of the issue!

How about this 10k bling!? Love!!

Arriving back at the hotel, it was so fun to see the colorful Boardwalk! I took a quick shower and new clothes then I felt like a new person. We were ready for the parks! I love the Magic Kingdom and my all-time favorite dessert is the Ooey Gooey Toffe Cake from Liberty Tree Tavern. You have to try it.

I mean look at it. After a few hours it was time for a much needed nap. An hour turned into like three hours but hey it's vacation!

The rest of the night was spent having dinner at Epcot, walking around the Flower and Garden Festival , then capping off the day at Magic Kingdom! 

All fun and games until I realize I have to be up in three hours to run 13.1 miles. See how that turned out here!

Happy running and traveling!

Star Wars Half Marathon: The Dark Side


Welcome to part 2 of the Dark Side race weekend! It felt like we had just gotten back from the Magic Kingdom (oh wait we had) when my alarm sounded off. I took my time getting ready since I knew I had plenty of time plus I already had my bib today so no need to rush. Funny story runDisney races for as long as I have been doing them (5 years) have always started at 5:30am unless it is a noted night race. Well, it seems they are experimenting because the Dark Side Half definitely started at 5am!

Luckily I boarded my bus at 4am and while there was some traffic I couldn't figure out why some people were nervous on time...until we arrived and I saw the photo op characters gone and staff telling runners to quickly make their way to the corrals. As I arrived in Corral C, the announcers said we were starting the race in 5 minutes. That was close! This is why even runDisney veterans need to double check the event guide and times. Just like that it was our time!

Pre-race sparkle selfie! This is what people do, right? Just trying to stay on trend.

The course route is the same for the first few as the 10k the day before. I liked the course and it seemed to fly by, I felt good and decided to stop and take photos, I mean that's what people really want to see so they can get a feel of the race!

One thing that was different than the 10k was Kylo Ren from the new Star Wars was out and people were freaking out around me. I was sad it was not Adam Driver but moving on!

Disney also had volunteers that were dressed in their Star Wars best so even though not official Disney Parks characters you would see in the park there were lots of photo opportunities for those not wanting to wait in the longer lines.

The course also takes you inside the Animal Kingdom so essentially you get to visit three parks during the race which I really like! The weather was absolutely beautiful, the sun was shining and it was pretty warm but it wasn't cold and rainy so I was happy!

The race moved very quickly, I have had back and knee problems for a few years now and while I love running sometimes it hurts and I can't keep up the pace I want to. It's crucial to not hurt yourself and if you feel like slowing down, do it. Want to take a picture? Take it! You are running 13.1 miles, that in and of itself is a huge accomplishment and Disney is a fun place to run. Make every mile magic as runDisney says. I also loved the earlier start time, I hope they continue this! Before I knew it the finish line was in sight.

It was bound to happen...I fully converted to the dark side. These medals the Darth Vader spinner! After more fun times on the bus (yay at least there was more than one waiting this time!) I was back at the hotel. It was our last day but we had a late flight so we went to the Studios and Epcot plus lots of snacks (the main incentive to run. Jk! Well maybe) and yes, we didn't want to wait 30 minutes for a ride but saw no problem waiting to see Kylo Ren for an awkward photo shoot.

See for yourself. I'm not even sure what was going on since we were a little scared of him and yes, he can talk to you! It was funny, scary and intimidating all at the same time. My best friend since high school is just like what and I don't know what I'm doing but this picture exists and that's all that matters. Enjoy the awkwardness!

Happy Running and Traveling! For more info on the Dark Side Challenge, runDisney and more check here!

You can also check out my10k recap here!


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Get a Little Graphic (Tee!)

I have a minor obsession with graphic tees. I love them. Remember those tees circa 2003-2006 that had sayings on them like "your boyfriend says hi" (literally cringing) from stores like Abercrombie? You wore one of those with a denim jacket and a tiered, mini skirt. We all did no reason to feel embarrassed! Today's tees are much better with even high end designer's taking on the style and there are more options than ever.

One reason I like a graphic tee is that you can throw one on and how you style it can completely determine the look. Have a band tee? Pair it with a striped min, converse and leather jacket to look totally rock chic or pair it with denim cutoffs, long beaded necklace and fringe sandals for a bohemian looks straight out of Coachella. I don't think you can go wrong with leggings, booties and a leather jacket to give you a simple yet stylish look rather you are going on a date, girl's night or to run errands. It's all about how you dress it up or down with the shirt being the base piece and focal point.

Here are a few of my favorites!

Wildfox Couture

Wildfox Couture
Van Halen Graphic Raglan Tee
Forever 21 (Under $20!)
Star Wars Darth Vader Graphic Tee
Forever 21 (under $15!)
Ramones Baseball Tee
Forever 21 (under $20!)

As you can tell I love tees from Forever 21, they are cute and inexpensive which is always a plus for me! I also really like Chaser, they are high quality and worth the extra money. Another one of my favorites is Sub-Urban Riot, Midnight Rider and Daydreamer Clothing (the softest shirts ever!)

The best thing is anyone can rock this look and you can tailor your tees to your own personal style or even mix it up to give you a different look than usual! Plus, how many times have you been out an hd wish you had on a t-shirt and jeans/shorts? Well, in this look you can and you won't look like you just rolled out of bed (even if you feel like you are in your PJ's). Dress them up or down, graphic tees are the way to go!



Monday, April 11, 2016

Monday Must-Haves

Hello all! Slowly but surely we are making it back to Friday. It feels like the weekends just pass faster in warmer months, maybe because the weather wants to make you stay outside, the days feel longer or you are just enjoying drinks in the backyard with unity besties and pups. We'll just say it's all of the above :)

Here's a listing of a few things I'm loving right now! Plus, keep on the lookout for new posts coming this week!

Enjoy my must haves!



1. Off the Shoulder and Cold Shoulder Dresses/Tops

This is one of my favorite styles, I remember buying an embroidered Free People dress with the "cold shoulder" a few years ago and fell in love with the stylish and flattering look! It's great for day or night, either style can easily be dressed up or down and there are so many great options out there like this floral one (on sale!), this dreamy cream dress (under $50), and I love this beautiful blush must-have I also need to add this sunny off the shoulder number to my closet and this top (under $40) that will be on repeat this summer!

ASOS Gypsy Off Shoulder Mini Dress
ASOS Gypsy Off the Shoulder Mini

2. Origami Skirts

These trendy skirts are a fun piece to add to your wardrobe when you want something a bit different than your normal trusty black mini skirt or denim cutoffs. Origami skirts have a little more creativity to them and I love the look paired with an off the shoulder top like this one or mix it up with a fun vintage looking tee (under $15) with a denim jacket for a fun, carefree yet pulled together look! This white skirt is only $9 and I love this skort for only $16!

Emmah Solid Colour Skort
Boohoo Solid Skirt

3. Justin Bieber Purpose Album

This is going to be hard to admit but I think I'm officially a "Belieber". My friends and I are even going to his concert in Atlanta tomorrow (insert monkey covering eyes emoji). What brought upon this sudden Beiber fever (do people still say that?) it would have to be his most recent album, 2015's Purpose. With singles like "What Do You Mean", "Where Are You Know", "Love Yourself" and the very popular "Sorry" Biebs proves he's no longer a teen dream but a legitimate artist. Trust me when I say you will enjoy this album!

4. The Jungle Book

Who else is excited to see this live action remake of the famed novel and beloved Disney cartoon classic film? I have both hands up! The Jungle Book is one of my favorite novels and this film looks visually stunning with an all-star cast lined up (how great is Bill Murray as Baloo?) I can't wait to watch this cinematic dream this weekend! To get you ready for the jungle check out the trailer here!

5. Me Before You

I have read some really great books recently, a whole post on that coming soon, but I just started reading this novel by JoJo Moyes. All I can say is I can't put it down, it's one of my favorite books I've read in a while and I can tell it's going to be a tearjerker. The story is beautiful so far about two that have very little in common who are brought together (I know this sounds familiar but I don't want to give away too much), read it before the movie comes out this summer! Lots of book reviews to hit the blog soon as well!

'Me Before You'.jpg
Me Before You

Monday, April 4, 2016

Spring Suede


With spring in full swing and summer right around the corner, It's time to start looking at transition pieces and my favorite clothing season has to be summer! Now I love denim shorts and yes, I still pull out the denim skirt (it has made a comeback!) but recently starting last summer and continuing this season, suede has become a hot commodity. I love the look! You can dress it up or down, make it boho (like today's look), preppy (add a polo or a pastel button up) or even rock (concert tee!).

Suede is also perfect for festival season, I really like the suede shorts (add a tee like this one or this cool rock tee) and this suede dress is great for summer nights out! Plus, suede is good for spring and summer nights when there is a slight chill in the air and transitions perfectly for fall. Win/win!

Suede Scalloped Skirt// My original one is almost sold out but here is an identical option that is under $20! I also really like this blush hued one which I might have to add to my closet as well! The scalloped detail is hot right now and I like how it make a piece a little more unique plus super flattering!

Printed Off the Shoulder Top// Mine is from last year but I love this similar look as well as this one (under $15!), this feminine choice and this super cute Tie Dye top!

Amazonite Matte Wrap Necklace// I ordered this necklace a few weeks ago and I am obsessed! I wear it ALL the time, I love how it's so long you can style it a few different ways plus the coloring are a perfect combination!

Lace-Up Sandal// Ok, I confess I don't obsess over shoes and I tend to use the same pairs year in and year out (I still have Haviana's from freshman year) but I saw these and I couldn't resist! I knew they would be a great staple for the summer and years to come.

Red Quilted Bag// My bag is a little more of a splurge that I got years ago but here is the perfect twin to my bag and it's under $30!